Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Fantagraphics-EC Comics Library Present "50 Girls 50"
illustrated by Al Williamson et al.; written by Al Feldstein et al.
264-page black & white 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99
In-store date: March 2013 (subject to change)
Barely old enough to drink when he joined the EC Comics stable, Al Williamson may have been the new kid on the block, but a lifetime of studying such classic adventure cartoonists as Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon) and Hal Foster (Prince Valiant) had made him a kid to reckon with — as he proved again and again in the stories he created for EC's legendary "New Trend" comics, in particular Weird Science and Weird Fantasy.
As a result of Williamson's focus, it's possible to compile all of Williamson's "New Trend" EC work into one book — which Fantagraphics is finally doing here. Sci-fi aficionados should note that although most of the stories were written by Al Feldstein, 50 Girls 50 features three of EC's legendary Ray Bradbury adaptations, including "I, Rocket" and "A Sound of Thunder" — and a unique curiosity, a strip adapted from a short story submitted by a teen-aged Harlan Ellison.
Williamson ran with a gang of like-minded young Turks dubbed the "Fleagle Gang," who would help one another out on assignments. Thus this book includes three stories upon which Williamson was joined by the legendary Frank Frazetta, and one story ("Food for Thought") where Roy Krenkel provided his exquisite alien landscapes, to make it one of the most gorgeous EC stories ever printed. As a supplementary bonus, 50 Girls 50 includes three stories drawn by Fleagles sans Williamson: Frazetta's Shock SuspenStories short "Squeeze Play"; Krenkel's meticulous "Time to Leave"; and Angelo Torres's "An Eye for an Eye," an EC story that famously fell prey to censorship and was not released until the 1970s. As with other Fantagraphics EC titles, 50 Girls 50 also includes extensive story notes by EC experts.
ABOUT THE CARTOONIST: From his days as an EC pioneer to his late-career stint as the preferred illustrator of Star Wars comic strips and comic books, Al Williamson (1931-2010) was one of the greatest science fiction cartoonists who ever lived. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2000.